Character: Draco Malfoy From Harry Potter Series
Author: J.K. Rowling
Okay, I’m sorry in advance, but this post is going to be extremely long. Since the first Harry Potter book, I have always been fascinated by Draco Malfoy (the fact that Tom Felton plays that role does not help, because he just takes my fascination to the next level) and I have read substantial confessions (especially on Tumblr) and stories about him. And there are a few posts, whose viewpoints I do not agree with at all.
Firstly, the post that says ‘Draco has no choice’ and then continues to say that HE DID have a choice in regards to his actions in the Deathly Hallows. That is like saying that if someone held your family hostage and threatened to kill them, YOU HAVE THE CHOICE to still do the right thing. BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT Voldemort did. He was holding the wand to Narcissa and Lucius and would have readily killed them at the blink of an eye, had Draco refused to obey him. Voldemort was already irritated with Lucius as he had failed him on numerous fronts and Narcissa would just have been another casualty for him. In simple words, the fact is that Voldemort was banking on Draco’s love for his parents to ensure that he had a spy at Hogwarts. Because Draco loved his parents the most in the word and Voldemort was threatening to kill them gave him literally no choice in the matter.
Draco was helpless because he knew that failure meant not only the loss of his parent’s life but his own as well. Can you honestly tell me that if someone held the person you loved at gun point, you would not do exactly as they commanded? Because trust me, I would do it in a heartbeat and while some people may still say I have the choice, but for me I do not. Draco had no choice if he wanted to save his parents. None. Further, there are some people who compare Draco with Sirius saying that Sirius was given the same choice. No, sorry Sirius and Draco are two completely different stories. Sirius hated his family and would do anything to distance himself from them. If Voldemort held James potter hostage, then they would be in the same boat. So to save their life, Draco had to do as Voldemort commanded, no questions asked.
Also, Draco was too proud to go to Harry or Dumbledore for help which again I understand. It was very good that he did not go to Harry, considering Voldemort was in Harry’s mind and had he been discovered, his parents would have been killed instantly. As to why he did not approach Dumbledore was maybe because he felt the Head Master was not very approachable at that point of time. This brings me to Narcissa who is another innocent victim. Nowhere in the books is it mentioned that she is responsible for killing or torturing anyone of Muggle or wizard descent. She was only married to a death eater and never took on the Mark herself. Her only crime was that she loved her husband and child and her Family mattered to her the most.
The second point in Draco’s defense is the nature in which he was RAISED. He was definitely spoiled by his mother. If dates are to be believed and timeline is accurate, it took Narcissa several years to conceive a child and in most probability, Draco would be her only child. So like any other mother in her situation, Narcissa spoiled Draco and gave him everything before he even asked her. From Draco’s point of view, he would have always wanted to be seen as a suitable heir by his father who probably did not share the same point of view. And how can anyone blame a child for being influenced by what he is introduced to since birth. Disdain, hatred, love for power and bullying were some things that Draco picked up early in his childhood, thanks to his father’s influence. Mind you, he could have made the choice to try and gain some sympathy but that would have resulted in his family disowning him, the only thing that Draco cared about, which brings me to the third point which is Draco and his bullying. Draco has always wanted to live up to the expectations of his father and that meant making the best contacts, in other words, being friends with Harry Potter. When Harry refused to befriend Draco, he immediately became hurt and spiteful towards him. Not only that, Harry went on to do many amazing things like becoming one of the youngest Quidditch player to finding the Sorcerer’s Stone to becoming the Hogwarts champion. Lucius’s voice would have always played in his head, ‘You are not as good as him, Draco.’, ‘You should be better than him, Draco’, ‘Why are you not better than him?’ So I don’t know about you guys, but if I had that hanging over my head every single day, I would break down completely. That being said, I am not defending Draco’s actions one bit. He did a lot of stupid things. Anything about people’s dead parents or their parents, in general, is just not accepted and Hermione slapping him is well deserved. Some things he did and said were just reflections of his father, and was not right in the least.
Now back to the Deathly Hallows, I feel that it is in this book that the REAL Draco Malfoy begins to emerge. Here was a scared child who could talk the talk but could never walk the talk. He could curse someone as much as he liked, but HE COULD NEVER RAISE A WAND TO KILL ANYONE. And he was scared that Voldemort knew this part of his personality. He gave him the task of killing Dumbledore as he expected him to die trying. In other words, Draco was facing death in much the same way as Harry was. That is why he broke down, burst like a dam and lashed out when Harry saw him like that. Harry was probably the only person who Draco WANTED AS A FRIEND, but they could truly never become friends. Harry was the one thing in Draco’s life that money and status couldn’t buy, and therefore it angered him, and no doubt Sectumsempra was a rather humbling experience for both of them. Somehow I feel a lot of people don’t seem to understand all of this. I mean, all of us encounter bullies in our lives and whether we like it or not, most of them GROW UP as well. They are not bad people, they ARE KIDS. Kids can sometimes be stupid, and all the more when their views are colored by that of their parents and people around them. It is important to understand that Draco was highly influenced by his father and this is the main reason why he bullied people. I feel I am getting repetitive at this point, but another incident that proves that Draco was not a horrible person was when he did not recognize Harry in the Malfoy Manor. Had he truly been horrible, he could have made life tough for Harry and his friends by recognizing him. In that one moment, he made a choice to turn his back on Voldemort. And for me, that was one of the bravest decisions of his life and is truly commendable. In the Room of Requirement, Draco made his second choice where he did not turn Harry into Voldemort. AND I TRULY BELIEVE THAT HARRY SAW THESE CHANGES. Draco realized that he did not want to bully anyone, anymore. He did not want to remain scared and alone all his life. He stood up and decided to fight. In the end, I know that if Draco had not changed, Harry WOULD NEVER have stood up for him in the trials afterwards. Harry was the reason why Draco never went to Azkaban. Harry saw what a lot of people FAIL to see. That Draco grew, and changed and realized he was wrong. So for me, Draco was a bully, mainly due to circumstances and not a choice. ALL OF US HAVE MADE STUPID DECISIONS IN OUR LIFE, ESPECIALLY IN OUR YOUNGER DAYS. If you tell me you’ve never made fun of someone’s hair, or clothes, or glasses or looks, you’re lying. Every one has been a bully at some point of their lives or the other. Some remain bullies longer than others, some never grow out of it and some realize their mistakes. I realize that Draco is a character in a book, but he’s a very real representation of a bully who grew up and realized his mistakes. He’s someone that learned and grew and he’s very relatable in my opinion. HE’S NOT A VILLAIN, HE’S A VICTIM OF SOCIETY LIKE SO MANY OF US ARE OR WERE. But in the end, he made the choice to change. It might have taken him longer to get there, but he did, and he may not have been a good child but he grew to be someone Harry Potter respected, and that is saying a lot. I hope that at least now Draco Malfoy receives a bit more understanding and love from the Harry Potter fandom world. 🙂